A new Multi-Purpose Event Venue (MPEV) in Amarillo is being designed both for a Double-A Texas League Minor League Baseball team and USL soccer, fulfilling the vision put to voters several years ago for the downtown facility.
The new stadium will house the relocating MiLB San Antonio Missions, with a planned 2019 opening. The city has been working on a design for the facility after the deal was made to bring the Missions to town, and architect Mike Sabatini was in Amarillo to discuss the design. From Amarillo.com:
Populous will design the park to accommodate a United Soccer League team, Sabatini said, which play on the outfield grass in minor league baseball stadiums in Reno, Nev., Tulsa, Okla., and Louisville, Ky. Elmore Sports Group owns minor league soccer teams in Springfield, Ore., and Highland, Calif.
“Soccer is realistic, and I know USL is a real player in a lot of smaller cities,” Sabatini said after the afternoon meeting. “A lot of people are going that route, so you have to build that in.”
Now, there are plenty of efforts floating around in the sports-business world to land a USL expansion team. Some are still incredibly under the radar — one Midwest MLS team has been looking at adding a USL team in its region — but here it may just be a matter of leaving the option open. Worth noting: Elmore Sports Group, owner of the Double-A Texas League team coming to town, already owns minor-league soccer and minor-league hockey teams in addition to multiple minor league baseball teams.